PACE.

I have always pronounced the preposition pace (‘with due deference to’ or ‘despite,’ from the ablative of Latin pax) in the traditional anglicized way, PAY-see, and assumed that was the universally accepted pronunciation. Now I discover, having seen the casual aside “Pace (that is to say, aloud, pa che)” in this Pepys Diary thread, that the Church Latin version, PAH-chay, is equally acceptable (the OED gives it second place for U.K. usage, first place for U.S.). So it’s time for another Languagehat straw poll: if you use this slightly obnoxious Latinism, how do you say it?
Below the cut are the OED citations; I particularly like the last one (and again I find it odd that the OED cites only the journal and not the delightfully disputatious author).


1863 Fraser’s Mag. Nov. 662/1 Mendelssohn was an artist passionately devoted to his art, who (pâce Dr. Trench) regarded art as virtù.
1883 Standard 1 Sept. 2/2 Pace the late Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Mr. Scofield is right.
1911 Chambers’s Jrnl. Nov. 720/1 The colour [of fruit].. is a tacit invitation (pace the gardener) to the feast.
1955 Times 7 July 9/6 Nor, pace Mr. Smith, was I for one moment defending immorality in the journalist.
1995 Computers & Humanities 29 404/1, I do not believe, pace Peirce and Derrida, that it is signs all the way down, and that, pace Dennett, there is no distinctive human intentionality, and that, pace almost everyone, thinking is fundamentally linguistic.

Comments

  1. Pah-che. I learned it from the Latin and it never occured to me to pronounce it otherwise.

  2. Pah-che. I assumed it was church Latin (with which I have only the slightest acquaintance).
    I absolutely certainly have never pronounced this word. When I read it I always ask myself how I would pronounce it if I had to, and eventually I came to this conclusion. I have only ever used the word in writing once or twice.

  3. Tom Wootton says:

    Pacey. Kingsely Amis used to complain (obviously) about the strange Italian opera singer people suddenly try and imitate when saying this word.
    But people of my incredibly youthful generation say, when they say it at all, patchay.
    It’s a bit of a tosser detector anyway really.
    I think it all stems from old pronunciation of Latin as English, and the newer ‘more accurate’ pronunciation that started getting taught, ooh, 30 years ago? Is that right? I think it was a ’70s thing, but it might have been earlier.

  4. I’d like to say that I say [pake], but the truth is that I say [patSe] and don’t know why.
    How about “et al.”? I pronounce the latter like “all” rather than like the “al-” in “alcohol”. What do other people do?
    And for your macaronic pleasure:
    Ailanthus altissima!
    Arbor bellissima,
    Non est por Chrissimas,
    Santa, et al.;
    Odor disgustima
    [om.] per crust-Y-
    ma Sumac del Faustima
    Zieht uns hinan.
    Lindsay, Beame, Koch, y Taft
    Mitgechop ihm zum Raft,
    “Ewige Blumenkraft!”
    (pace John Donne).
         –Joseph Zitt

  5. PAH-chay. It appears on a lot of rainbow flags in my neighborhood, and for a long time I wondered what “PACE” was an acronym for. Somehow I just didn’t make the connection with peace and acceptance of heterodoxy.

  6. michael farris says:

    I pronounce it mentally (to the extent that I do) as if it were Italian (though slightly anglicized).
    I can’t imagine ever actually using it though in speech (and barely in writing).

  7. pah-chay, not that I say it very often.

  8. zuzenztailea says:

    ["peIsi], the traditional way, as I do all Latin terms established in English. I would have regarded ["pA:tSeI] as a stab in the dark by people who knew no Latin: it wouldn’t have occurred to me that it would have been especially churchish. I associate it with scholarly argument only. (But of course the OED could show me up as wrong if I peeked.)

  9. aldiboronti says:

    Pay-see. But then I also say viva vo-see. (OED also gives vo-chee for that one, so no guidance there really).

  10. I agree with Michael Farris.
    Erin, those flags have the Italian word for “peace”, not the Latin-derived English preposition, so presumably anyone would use the Italian pronunciation for the flags, even if they use “pacey” for the preposition.

  11. Pah-chay. Like everyone else, I write it a lot more than I speak it.

  12. Michael Farris says:

    Just to show how ignorant I am (and proud! of! it!), I never thought of pace as a preposition, such a thought never entered my limited little mind.
    It’s one of those words I gradually learned through exposure and I never thought to look it up in a dictionary. I always thought of it as a kind of sentential adverb with roughly the meaning: “yes, yes, I know about this counterexample, don’t get mad at me”
    I naturally assumed it was from Italian and treated it as such.
    The scary thing is, I’m a multi-lingual super-literate with a background in linguistics. How does your average literate English speaker interpret this word? (Or do they?)

  13. Doug Sundseth says:

    It sounds like “pah-chay” in my head when I read it (IYKWIM). I don’t recall ever actually saying it.

  14. PAH-chay FTW.

  15. Just for variety: I’ve always said pah-kay, like the Latin pronunciation I learned at school in England. I think I’ve heard others say it like that here too.

  16. I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually verbalized it, but I think “pah-kay”.

  17. Interesting—the Italian version seems to be dominant. I guess most of us who know it never actually say it or hear it. (I would use PAH-kay if it were a bit of Classical Latin, like veni vidi vici, and I pronounce pacem in Dona nobis pacem the Italian way.)

  18. LH: You would say weeny weedy weedche, the English public school Latin teacher way, I presume ?

  19. PAH-chay, even though I took three years of classical Latin in high school. It’s probably because the first academic speaker I heard use “pace” said it the Italian way.

  20. jeff delcol says:

    Ailanthus altissima is known locally here in WV as the “cat-piss tree” for the stink it releases if handled.
    J. Del Col

  21. Paul: I say WAY-nee WEE-dee WEE-kee.
    It’s probably because the first academic speaker I heard use “pace” said it the Italian way.
    Yeah, I’m sure that’s a common phenomenon. I still remember my dissertation adviser when I say the name Darius (I was surprised when he said da-RYE-us, but immediately adopted it).

  22. Neither of the above. I don’t think I’ve ever used “pace” in ordinary speech, but when I have encountered it in writing, I have always mentally pronounced it in a completely non-Latinate manner (i.e., rhymes with “space”).
    On a side note, I too learned Latin with the waynee, weedy, weekee pronunciation, but sang in choirs , so I’m comfortable with the Italianate “church” scheme, too.

  23. I pronounce it “Kiev” – no wait, I mean “Kyiv”…

  24. SnowLeopard says:

    PAH-chay. Used rarely, but it’s one of the first things that came to mind as an alternative to the horrid “modulo”.

  25. ['pɑtʃe], that is, the Church Latin pronunciation my father would have learned as a schoolboy. (Although, like others here, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually said it.)

  26. Like most people here, I pronounce it the Italian/Church-Latin way. That said, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it said aloud, and certainly I’ve never used it myself, so that might not say very much.

  27. PAH-say. But I never really had the chance to say it out loud.

  28. Blast! Until I stumbled across this discussion, “pace” was a word which I read purely by eye and never verbalised. That will no longer be possible, thanks very much! Nor can I immediately think of any other word which exists purely in print, with no speech associations.

  29. I use it comparatively often, and mark it up with lang=”la”.

  30. pace = ['pa:tSe:]
    vice versa = ['vaIs@ 'vVrs@]
    via = 70% ['vaI.@], 30% ['vi:@] at random
    et al. = ['Et 'al]
    op. cit.= ['Qp 'sIt]
    i.e. and e.g. are ['aI 'i:] and ['i: 'dZi:] in my head, but ['Dat 'Iz] and [f@r Ig'za:mpl] reading aloud
    quasi- is ['kwa:zi:] as in Quasimodo.
    and
    puerile used to be ['pwEraIl] when I was 12

  31. oh, and cf. is ['si: 'Ef]

  32. Well, I came late to this, but I have another request—can LH have a poll on pronunciation of the word ‘dilettante’? ‘Rationale’ would be another good one too.

  33. pah-kay. “ch” is a horrible Italian way of pronouncing the Latin, and the soft “c” is a horrible English way. “k” as in Caesar = Kaiser.

  34. Pah-che.
    And, mea culpa, I must admit to using it in conversation, though I’ve always felt guiltily uncertain about my pronunciation.

  35. I have to admit that my second choice might have been like the English word “pace”.

  36. I’ve never said it. I knew it was Latin but mentally pronounced it in Italian ([patSe]). But now I’m going to pronounce it [peIsi] and say it ALL the time, just to make people think I’m a knob.
    Also, mollymooly, what about people who use [kwazaI] for Quasimodo?

  37. Meesher: he was hunchbacked, not cwosseyed

  38. Pa-chay. Though I’ve never used it in conversation.

  39. PAH-chay. I’ve never heard it pronounced otherwise, but then I can’t really remember ever hearing it at all, though I’m sure I have… (I grew up in NYC for whatever that datum is worth.)

  40. Pah-che. I’ve never used it in conversation, but I’ve sung in choirs most of my life.
    Michael Farris said: “How does your average literate English speaker interpret this word? (Or do they?)”
    [This is probably the category I fit in, on this board.]

  41. PAH-chay.

  42. “Pah-chay.” From “Dona Nobis Pacem.” If you’re raised by hippies, that’s the only Latin you learn. Other than “cannabis,” of course. (I didn’t inhale! I only sang in rounds! I swear!)

  43. Michael Farris asked, “How does your average literate English speaker interpret this word? (Or do they?)”
    I like to think of myself as literate, and I have interpreted it as a sort of written wave of the hand, as if saying, “I know some objection could be raised, but bear with me.”

  44. If I had to say it, it’d be [pake], just like we learned it in Latin class in high school. That was Classical Latin, not Church Latin or Medieval Latin or any other excuse for Italianizing the Latin pronunciation.

  45. pah-chay: six years of latin (and they put you on the day shift) in school; I’ve never heard it said the other way round. But I was taught the church latin pronunciation throughout. If it was good enough for St Paul it was good enough for us.

  46. ['pɑtʃe], also never used in conversation, but I’ve never been able to read something, even to myself, without knowing how to pronounce it. (This led to me as a kid requiring myself to fully assimilate the Appendices of Lord of the Rings so I could pronounce names correctly to myself.) Funny thing, literacy: creating words that are not primarily spoken.

  47. PAH-che for me, and for most Australian philosophers I think. Of course this is inconsistent with our other pronunciations, in which we do not adopt an Italianate style (ceteris paribus and simpliciter are pronounced as British mangled Latin; a priori usually either as classical Latin equivalent to Italian in this case, or as British mangled Latin; I prefer the classical).
    LH, well noted concerning Darius, which is very commonly “mispronounced”.
    Now, how about these, for position of the stress:
    Taranto
    Genoa
    [I mean the town in Victoria, Australia, of course]
    Ozymandias
    municipal
    abdomen
    acumen
    And I wonder what sound the u has in these, for various people:
    culinary
    erudite

  48. I normally pronounce pace, like the other Latin terms used especially in footnotes, as in English, but if I use the Latinate pronunciation, I pronounce it as it would have pronounced in Republican times, not using the Italianate or English pronunciation.

  49. PAH-che is the internal verbalisation. Cannot recall ever having said it out loud and have definitely never written it. Probably heard my father (“I am an autodidact”) use it…

  50. aldiboronti says:

    Culinary as in cute, although this pronunciation seems to be vanishingly rare in the UK now.
    Erudite as eruhdite.
    What about Celt – selt or kelt?
    And Greek names such as Cimon? Kimon or Simon?

  51. I pronounce “cf.” as “see, fr’instance”.

  52. Of the other conundra:
    dilettante: DILL-ə-tahnt
    rationale: rash-ə-NAL (rhymes with Al)
    culinary: CULL-ə-nary
    erudite: AIR-ə-dite

  53. What interests me is the way both ‘dilettante’ and ‘rationale’ are pronounced as if French, when in fact they’re Italian and Latin. I’d be curious to trace the development of the modern pronunciations.
    As for ‘erudite’, I’ve noticed a lot of Americans saying (to my surprise) ‘air-yoo-dite’ (or even ‘air-ee-oo-dite’. Where is that ‘y’ coming from?

  54. Good lord, the only pronunciation the OED gives is dill-ə-TAN-tee. Is that the way all Brits say it? I’ve never heard that in my life. And for rationale they give rash-ə-NAHL(-ee) or rash-ə-NAIL-ee. I’ve never heard any of those either. Talk about separated by a common language!

  55. “Is that the way all Brits say it?”
    No, I’ve never heard it either. BTW, you should see what pronunciation the OED gives for ‘cadaver’!

  56. Though I do say ‘dilettante’ the OED way, just because I enjoy the pedantry of it.
    (Also, ‘lambaste’ / ‘lambast’ is another OED oddity.)

  57. I had already guessed I’d see ca-DAVE-er, with the pedantic “long a” of the type mocked by Fowler in his entry on “false quantity” (he points out that if we’re to preserve Latin quantity we should say a-MEEN-ity, ci-NEEM-a, PAT-riot, sa-LIVE-ary, SEE-maphore, SOH-crates, and so on). But I am surprised it’s given as the only possibility! Is that really how everyone said it in 1888?

  58. Brits do say a-MEEN-ity.

  59. Really?
    *checks OED*
    Then why does he list it with those others? I guess he himself said it with short e and in his magisterial way assumed everybody did.

  60. marie-lucie says:

    As far as I know, I have never heard anyone SAY this word “pace” (always italicized, signalling its foreign and probably Latin origin) but I always thought it would be Pa-CHE, probably because of DONA NOBIS PACEM and REQUIESCAT IN PACE as pronounced in Church Latin.
    I learned Latin in France, where we were taught to pronounce it as if it were French (this was the pronunciation in state schools, probably as a long-standing reaction against the italianate church pronunciation in Catholic schools). Since there is no contrastive stress in French, all the Latin words were lightly stressed on the final syllable, as in roSA and temPLUM (the letter u was as in French, meaning usually ü except that the ending -um is pronounced like the word homme). And of course we said Veni, Vidi, Vici.
    About Darius: a friend of mine who spent two years in Iran and speaks fluent Persian says it is Dar-YOOSH in Persian, a common male name, so the final -us is not a Latin suffix. I don’t think I have ever heard the name said in English, but I find Da-RYE-us very strange, same as Ma-RYE-a for Maria. Is the Roman figure Marius known as Ma-RYE-us in English?
    culinary: I learned KEW-linary and it always seems to me strange to hear CULL-inary which seems to be the most common North American pronunciation. I guess the word is associated with the pronunciation of cull rather than with the unstressed sequence -cul- in Latinate words like vernacular.
    a priori: I am glad to hear that it is OK to pronounce this in English as in Italian, as I find the pronounciation with so-called “long” a and i extremely pretentious (same with Ma-RYE-a, etc.).

  61. About Darius: a friend of mine who spent two years in Iran and speaks fluent Persian says it is Dar-YOOSH in Persian, a common male name, so the final -us is not a Latin suffix.
    The premise is correct but the conclusion is wrong. The Persian form is irrelevant to English, which got the name from Latin, which got it from Greek, where it is Dareios; since -ei- gives long i in Latin, the long penult is stressed in Latin and thus (presumptively, if you believe in preserving quantity) in English.
    As for Ma-RYE-a, it’s just a traditional pronunciation, no better or worse than the hispanicized Ma-REE-a that has won out on this side of the Atlantic (I have no idea what the Brit usage is).

  62. patriot: ["peItri@t] is Universal, but GB is often ["p}tri.@t] and is sometimes ["peItri%At].
    And Bill (or was it Ted) says SOH-crates (two syllables). Duude!
    Maria still rhymes with “pariah” in the phrase “Black Maria”, but usually not otherwise. In Ireland, you can tell how old a woman named Marie is by whether it’s stressed on the first or second syllable.

  63. Correction: and U.S. is sometimes ["peItri%At].

  64. John Emerson says:

    In this kind of discussion I always am reminded that there are a large number of words in my vocabulary which I have never used in speech. I admire a lot of writing in the high style, but I never speak that way.

  65. the long penult is stressed in Latin and thus (presumptively, if you believe in preserving quantity) in English.
    Even if you don’t believe in preserving quality, as a stressed vowel in an open syllable it would get made “long” in traditional Anglo-Latin pronunciation.
    As for pace I would have probably have gone with /ˈpɑ.sɛ/, if forced (though I’d prefer to keep it to the written register). There is something uncomfortable about using Great-Vowel-Shift diphthongs in words that don’t feel fully native, even though the consonants don’t seem to have trouble.

  66. Even if you don’t believe in preserving quality
    …quantity, I mean. *dah*

  67. Even if you don’t believe in preserving quality, as a stressed vowel in an open syllable it would get made “long” in traditional Anglo-Latin pronunciation.
    If it were a short vowel it wouldn’t be stressed. You’re putting the cart before the horse.

  68. Of bloody course it’s dill-ə-TAN-tee. Else there would be a furore.

  69. Pah-CHAY for me, although like most I would never actually use the word in speech.
    And Na-BOCK-ov, not (pace Sting) NA-buh-kov.
    And in reference to your last comment LH, years ago my college survey class of European thinkers studied the French Rene weeks before the Spanish Alvaro, so I guess you could say the professor “put Descartes before D’Ors.”

  70. Oy!

  71. marie-lucie says:

    Back to Darius: I did not know that the i in this word was supposed to be long in Latin (another shortcoming of the pronunciation I was taught). I can well believe that the Latin name was an adaptation from Greek, but the Greek name must have been an adaptation from the original Persian of the period. Does anyone know what the word was in (I presume) Old Persian, rather than in present-day Farsi?

  72. culinary:
    OED gives the “cute” version first, but I agree with aldiboronti that it is quite rare now. SOED gives only the “cut” version.
    erudite:
    Yes, it is very often heard with a /j/ interpolation, Conrad. SOED has a simple-/u/-type pronunciation, and OED has a schwa. A strange one indeed.
    dilettante:
    I say this as the Italian that it comes from directly: /dil-et-TAHN-te/ (not /-i/). In Australia most say it /dil-ɘ-TONT/ or /DIL-ɘ-tont/, as if it had come from French.
    rationale:
    I say this /rash-ɘn-AHL/, and I have never heard it said otherwise by Australians. I am surprised to learn that we do not have it through French, and that OED gives two pronunciations: one the common one, but with an optional fourth syllable, the other with four syllables, the third including /ei/. I think the common British pronunciation is influenced by locale and morale.
    cadaver:
    Yes, Conrad. But SOED gives the more usual /kɘ-DAH-vɘ/ first.
    salivary:
    You mean you DON’T say “sa-LIVE-ary”, LH? I have never said it nor heard it said any other way! I am astonished to see that OED and SOED give it only with stress on the first syllable, as I’m sure most Australians would be.
    Others of interest, which I think will be pronounced variously:
    Punjab
    feral
    vaginal
    capillary
    And these two, I think, vary their pronunciation according to context and meaning:
    skeletal
    cerebral

  73. Marie-Lucie, I was just now looking for the original Persian form of Darius in Ostler’s book Empires of the Word, since I have a strong impression that I saw it there very recently and that I thought about this very matter at the time. But I can’t find it now, dammit. Must have been somewhere else.

  74. Marie-Lucie, Wikipedia gives useful information in various relevant languages for Darius.

  75. “skeletal / cerebral”
    Pronunciation by taste, surely? What semantic difference do you ascribe?

  76. Does anyone know what the word was in (I presume) Old Persian
    It’s very familiar to anyone who studied Old Persian: Daraya-vahush ‘he who preserves the good.’
    “skeletal / cerebral”
    I’ve never heard or imagined anything but SKEL-etal for the first; I say cer-EE-bral for the second, but I guess I’ve heard CER-ebral.
    Noetica: I’ve never heard sa-LIVE-ary (and apparently Fowler hadn’t either).

  77. If it were a short vowel it wouldn’t be stressed.
    Ah, I was under the impression that the Anglo-Latin pronunciation rules took as input a later variety of Latin that had entirely lost length distinction in vowels, while still retaining the original stresses. I understood that the rules reproduced “long” vowels (in the English sense) that might only coincidentally relate to their original Roman lengths, and those who spoke of ‘preserving quantity’ referred rather to restoring the Roman quantity when it did not correspond to the English one, and meant to indicate ‘Darius’ would have a long I in both Roman (quantity-preserving) and English (quantity-ignoring) systems.

  78. Jeff Rensch says:

    yes PA-chay like Rosa Ponselle emoting in Forza del Destino

  79. Simon: not Kimon; it’s a sigma in Greek
    shiMON (?)in Hebrew, seeMOAN in Greek, SyeMIN in English
    a priori – long “a” and “o” and short “i” – AH pree-ORE-ee
    pace – pah-KAY
    Celt – Kelt except for sports clubs
    EnKephalopathy
    Sircus when I speak English, Kircus if I say it in Latin
    Adventism/Adventist – Adventists tend to say ADventist/ADventism, non-Adventists tend to say adVENtist/adVENtism

  80. I should have said SYEmin, although I have heard the other one.

  81. Adventists tend to say ADventist/ADventism, non-Adventists tend to say adVENtist/adVENtism
    Yes, I always said the latter until I looked it up and discovered the former was the preferred pronunciation, so I switched over.

  82. Funny enough, molly. I produce at least THREE different ‘u’ sounds for ‘culinary’, but I couldn’t tell you their frequencies: schwa, what we’re calling ‘cute’, and the same vowel without the /j/ in front.
    ‘Selt’ and ‘seltic’ are legitimate, and not just for sports teams. There’s some historical justification for the pronunciation that I don’t remember (I know, right?), and it’s good snob-bait.

  83. I used to stress the second syllable of duodenum, which makes for funnier Limericks.
    In Ireland Celtic is always K except in proper names when it’s usually S. A quick google and I discover the S applies to the Anglo-Celt newspaper in Cavan, which I’ve never heard said and always mentally pronounced with K.

  84. PAH chay, I think. Not that I ever use it.

  85. Margarine.

  86. Terry Collmann says:

    Isn’t this all getting a bit passe? Which, because I am (a) an ignoramus and (b) don’t mix with people pretentious enough to drop the word into everyday conversation, was how I pronounced pace before I read this thread. Now I don’t know what to say – think I’ll pronounce it “pace” to rhyme with “face” from now on …

  87. Terry Collmann says:

    Isn’t this all getting a bit passe? Which, because (a) I am an ignoramus and (b) I don’t mix with people pretentious enough to drop the word into everyday conversation, was how I pronounced pace before I read this thread. Now I don’t know what to say – think I’ll pronounce it “pace” to rhyme with “face” from now on …

  88. Skeletal:
    Skeleton is strange, and so is its adjective. It comes from σκελετόν, meaning “dried up”, as OED points out. We might therefore have expected a pure Greek form somewhere in the history of our language; but in fact there is not and never was a skeletic (nor a sceletic), even though Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and most germanely French (squelettique) have “-ic” forms only. The stress in the noun varies oddly between those languages:
    Spanish and Portuguese:
    esquelEto
    Italian:
    schEletro
    [Older and poetic forms: schEltro, schEretro]
    SOED and Gimson give both stressings: skEletal first, skelEtal second; OED gives only skEletal.
    My long observation of the word in Australian speech persuades me that skEletal is more common with clinical and scientific meanings and contexts, and skelEtal with abstracted, everyday, and metaphorical meanings and contexts:

    Striate muscle is otherwise known as skEletal muscle.

    The skEletal structure of Homo floresiensis differs subtly from that of Homo sapiens.

    Her essay was too skelEtal by far, and needed fleshing out if it was to pass.

    This one is more intermediate, I think:

    If ever an explorer came across skelEtal (or skEletal) remains, he buried them with due ceremony.

    SkEletal remAIns has a less comfortable distance between stresses, making it less likely, so context within the sentence is a factor too (cf. remarks chez LH on ChInese chEckers, some time ago). (Conversely for skEletal strUcture, I think.)
    Cerebral:
    SOED, OED, and Gimson are unanimous: only cErebral (and only cErebrum). Again, from my long observation of the word in Australian speech:

    We no longer call those with cErebral palsy spastic.

    The cErebral arteries were mercifully unaffected.

    We found his lecture too cerEbral, unrelieved by any local anecdote or colour.

    As with skeletal, these differences between scientific and extended uses are just very strong tendencies, and many idiolects do not reflect them.
    There are many other words I would love to run past your commenters, LH. Perhaps another time.

  89. Internally I’ve always rhymed “pace” with “face”. It’s a very convenient word if you ignore the Latin origin, so it’s best to pretend it’s English and not seem too pretentious. Putting an “ee” sound at the end makes it sound like a baby word and just strikes me as ridiculous.
    Of course I’ve never actually said this world aloud, and never heard anyone else say it. I wonder if it has become more common recently in the written language, because I don’t truly don’t recall coming across it during my college years in the late 80s.

  90. I would be curious to know how many others learned their Latin through a course written by the delectably-named Waldo Sweet. Braised in the fire of his illumination, I always said “Pah-kay”, along with “weni, widi, wiki” etc. I was amazed to hear Latin pronounced more or less as modern Italian when I first went to Switzerland, where my friends had been schooled by priests for whom Latin was very much a living language, and since then I have been, pace Mengzi et al, like the grass on top of the wall, bending to the wind of those around me.

  91. David Marjanović says:

    So Church Latin treats c as Italian? Interesting. And on the other hand there are people who really go around pronouncing v as [w], which was already no longer done in the times of Emperor Valentinianus? Also interesting.
    In German there’s no separate Church Latin. As elsewhere, and as in the Latin taught in most schools, c is pronounced [t͡s] in front of e i y ae oe (but g is always [g]!), ae is [æː], oe is the mightily improbable [øː], and vowel length is only preserved as far as the German rule that only stressed vowels can be long allows it (but vowel quantity — German rule: long vowels are close, short ones open — is more resistant). Not everyone even bothers being fully rhotic.
    I read early about how c must have been [k] all the way to the 4th or 5th century, and immediately adopted that, but that’s not usual.
    [ˈt͡seːt(ɛ)ɐʀʊmˈt͡sɛnˑs{ɛ~e}{ɔ~o}ˌka(ʀ)ˈtaːg̊inɛmˌɛsˑɛd̥ɛˈlɛnˑd̥amˑ]!!!
    (I hope that’s legible.)

  92. David Marjanović says:

    Over all that copying & pasting from the Windows character table, I forgot to ask how anyone without a French background gets the idea of stressing pace on the last syllable. ~:-|
    I should probably also mention that the German pronunciation of qu, [k͡v], is unquestioningly carried over into Latin, too. The same holds for the affrication of ti. [ˈk͡voːˈʊsˑk͡vɛˈtanˑd̥ɛmˌkaˈtɪlɪnaˌaˈb̥uːt(ɛ)ɐʀɛˌpat͡siˈɛnt͡siaˈnɔsˑtra]!?!

  93. marie-lucie says:

    In a comment above, I (of French background) wrote Pa-CHE not to indicate stress on the final syllable in this word as used in English, but to emphasize the affricated pronunciation of the letter c. I used the letter e afterwards not to indicate English ee but because I don’t like to use ay for a plain (not diphthongized) pronunciation. I suppose PAH-chay would have been clearer to some people.

  94. Interesting, David. I suppose you pronounce Greek υ as you would y in a Greek-based German word like Nymphe: just like ü, ja? Do you pronounce y in Latin like that also? And how do you and other Teutons pronounce Latin eu, which occurs in words of Greek origin with ευ? How do you pronounce ευ in those Greek words themselves?
    How do others pronounce this classical ευ?
    And what about Ozymandias? How is it pronounced, and on what authority? (See Ozymandias in Wikipedia, along with recent discussion.)

  95. David Marjanović says:

    just like ü, ja?

    Usually. But, for unknown reasons, it tends to be unrounded when it’s unstressed (as in poly-).
    BTW, the question tag is oder?.

    Do you pronounce y in Latin like that also?

    Yes. I suppose that’s justifiable: those people who ever used such learned Greek words, other than proper names, presumably all knew Greek.

    And how do you and other Teutons pronounce Latin eu, which occurs in words of Greek origin with ευ? How do you pronounce ευ in those Greek words themselves?

    Mercilessly as [ɔɪ̯], which is of course complete nonsense from a Greek or Latin point of view.

    And what about Ozymandias?

    I’ve only encountered the good man in writing — in English sources (all of them online, IIRC) and in a translation of Richard Dawkins’ Unweaving the Rainbow.

  96. Adrian Bailey says:

    I usually (mentally) pronounce it just like the English word “pace”. If I needed to say it out loud, I’d probably say “pah-chay”.
    I’m a bit confused about its use. When I see something like “pace The Odenburg Times” I tend to think it just means “according to”, and that meaning always seems to make sense.

  97. Good grief!
    PAhkay; diletAntee; rashyonAhl (British, oldish)

  98. “pahkay” or “pahchay” depending on mood.

  99. David:
    Richard Dawkins’ Unweaving the Rainbow.
    A good book, oder was? To speak loosely and in the expectation of escaping challenge regarding the details in this forum, Dawkins is probably right about most important things, but too obviously so. And he writes too many books, too similar in their message. (Same for Paul Davies, except that he is probably wrong about most important things.) Dawkins famously did not know that CL Hardin had already used that Keatsian quote in Color for Philosophers: Unweaving the Rainbow, 1988.
    Mercilessly as [ɔɪ̯], which is of course complete nonsense from a Greek or Latin point of view.
    But so is the standard English rendering of ευ and Latin eu nonsense.
    Ozymandias? Same for most people. They have encountered it only in the poem, and the way it is embedded in the poem seems to settle the pronunciation for most. But I question that. The story is a bit more curled. I note that German Wikipedia gives no pronunciation, guessed or otherwise, for the word.

  100. tom wootton says:

    Just to gloss the crucial point of an earlier comment I made about New Pronunciation and Old Pronunciation of Latin – Kinglsey Amis again, from his excellent and witty ‘The King’s English’ (1997) -
    “When I was at school [1930s], the so-called New Pronunciation of Latin had come into use, though some elderly teachers now and then slipped back into the Old. The NP aimed at speaking Latin as the Romans had spoken it, the OP spoke Latin words as if they were English. So, for instance, the Latin phrase just quoted [mutatis mutandis] would come out as ‘mootahteece mootundeece’ in NP, as ‘mewtehtice mewtandice’ in OP. That great Latinist and headmaster, FR Dale, always insissted that NP was called for when you were speaking Latin and OP for English; after all it was Victoria not Wicktohria Station and a vacuum not a wahkuoom cleaner. It seemed logical as well as clear.
    As Latin began to be less studied in schools, so, perhaps oddly, did people lose their memory of OP versions and more and more use NP, or something like it. By 1970 or so that process was complete. Today, when dealing with phrases that have entered the English language, like ‘prima facie’ and ‘a priori’, non-Latinists say ‘preema fackiay’ and ‘ah preeoree’ if they use them at all, and whether or not they muddle them and their meanings up together as they are, perhpas more often than Latinists, apt to do. That much larger number of Latin phrases that have never entered our language or only done so among specialise speakers, like ‘sine die’ or ‘in statu pupillari’, keep their OP integrity as ‘siney die-ee’ among lawyers and ‘in staychoo pewpillairigh’ in academe and seldom get used elsewhere.
    Well, there we are, and nobody is much worse off in any obvious way. We may be be more noticeably worse off in the pronunciation of some ordinary English words. I suggest that this has been affected by a haziness about foreign origins resulting from the loss of Latin both as a language and as a concept. Quite recently I heard over the air a trade-union boss talk of a ‘vayto’ (veto) and a Cabinet minister of a ‘vayicle’ (vehicle), both nouns vaguely foreign-looking words on the page. Longer ago I and others heard ‘dayity’ (deity) and ‘spontanaity’ for the first time. And here perhaps is the place to mention the Tay Dayum and countless other NP-ings of once deeply entrenched OP words and phrases.”
    Of this it’s perhaps worth noting that amongst my acquaintances (20-35) ‘dayity’ is pretty much fixed, as is ‘spontanaity’ although I admit I still say ‘dee-ity’, ‘prima facie’, when I’ve heard it, is said something like ‘preema face-she’, and ‘a priori’ Calinbanised into ‘ay pri-or-ree’

  101. marie-lucie says:

    What about the zodiac sign Libra: LIB-ra or LYE-bra?

  102. I say LEE-bra. I’ve heard LIB-ra, but it never occurred to me that anyone might say LYE-bra. Do you?

  103. Michael Farris says:

    I only know of LEE-bra.

  104. On this general topic, I should mention the pronunciations of Australian ABC’s distinguished science broadcaster Robyn Williams. He has a way of repeated clearly articulating perversely unusual pronunciations on air. One of his main offerings is a fine show called In Conversation – and he invariably pronounces the key word as if it were converzation. In the latest Science Show (6 October 2007) he
    emphatically, knowingly, and repeatedly stresses Achilles (in Achilles tendon) on its first syllable, even while talking with a scientist who stresses it on the second, as almost everyone else does. Why? It’s a mystery. I may well email him to find out. I’ll post results here, if people are interested.
    But as always the greater mystery is that most listeners hardly seem to notice, comment, or care, when it comes to pronunciation, as we know – but particularly the position of stress in words and in sentences. A matter that I find utterly fascinating.

  105. Please do update if you get an answer!

  106. Gosh, I’m glad I’ve never pronounced pace aloud, since I’ve been saying it in my head as pa-say all this time. I suppose I shall have to re-educate myself into mentally pronouncing it PAH-chay, though I quite fancy saying it in such a way as to rhyme with Tom Wooton’s friend’s verion of prima face.

  107. Dearieme didn’t weigh in on this one, but I presume he says ske(e)-LEE-tal for skeletal.

  108. Salivary /sǝˈlaivǝri/
    Dilettante /ˈdɪlətãt/
    Yup, illiterate Australianisms!

  109. grackle says:

    Back in the ’60′s I had a Persian friend at college named Darius. He pronounced it Der ee us , accented on the first syllable. Good enough for me.

  110. God. these long posts are exhausting. Must get new glasses.
    I thought my Latin pronunciation (in my head) was classical, that is NP, but I seem to mix in a lot of OP. I usually read ‘pahchay, no pakay’.
    I thought celt pronounced selt was a prehistoric worked stone, but if so googling for it looks like it’ll take a long time.
    Gotta crash.

  111. Looking over the thread again, I am freshly astonished at how few people (only one or two, apparently) pronounce it the way I do, which I had foolishly thought was common if not universal. This blog is a continuing education for me.
    I particularly like the Kingsley Amis quote (from tom wootton at October 1, 2007 03:45 AM); this sums it up nicely:

    That great Latinist and headmaster, FR Dale, always insissted that NP was called for when you were speaking Latin and OP for English; after all it was Victoria not Wicktohria Station and a vacuum not a wahkuoom cleaner. It seemed logical as well as clear.

    Part of me is apparently a crotchety old Englishman.

  112. If you’re going to be a crotchety old Englishman you’d be better off as Samuel Johnson or Evelyn Waugh than as Kingsley Amis.

  113. My last name is pace (english) but im maltese an its pronounced pah-chay meaning peace

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